There’s no one size fits all when it comes to defining small business success. Some are profitable, some are not. Some generate 6 figures, some do not. Some generate 7 figures and beyond, some do not.
Even those that do not succeed in terms of staying in business, the knowledge gained during the lifespan of the business lasts forever. In my opinion, that’s a win – that’s success but you may not agree.
Regardless of how unique success is defined when it comes to small business, there are universal actions and habits that lead to profitability, sustainability and lasting success.
- Highly profitable and successful business owners have a strong mental game and playbook. Jim Fannin said it best, “the champion wins first, then walks into the arena. Everybody else walks into the arena and then tries to figure out what to do.” Successful business owners know their mind is either working for them or against them. They believe in themselves and their playbook more than they fear success or failure.
- It’s not a guessing game. These small business owners know their numbers. They know much money they’ve made and how much they’re forecasted to make. They also know how much money they’ve spent and how much they’re projected to spend. Not just at the end of the year, they track key performance indicators each and every month and some on a weekly basis. Highly successful business owners don’t guess when it comes to the numbers, they know them.
- Highly profitable and successful business owners are good listeners. They don’t assume what their market wants. They ask them, listen and deliver. In other words, these business owners research and really get to know their target market and customer. Otherwise, if they market to everyone, no one will hear them and therefore, no one will buy. Successful business owners listen, then market and sell.
- Highly profitable business owners use systems and build teams to eliminate income barriers. Income barriers occur when the business owner alone cannot increase their income and profits. Highly profitable business owners build teams and use systems so they can focus on generating more revenue. These business owners also understand that yes, they’re intelligent but it’s genius to surround themselves with others that can help grow their business.
- Highly successful business owners have figured out how to use leverage to grow their businesses. They don’t allow the statement, “it takes money to make money,” to keep them stuck. For these business owners, it’s an opportunity for them to be creative about how they grow and expand. They may utilize various funding options to get the financial resources necessary to achieve their goals. One option is to self fund by selling a product or service first, then creating it. In other words, the business owner gets paid to create the product or service. Another option is to secure a small business loan or bring in an investor which ties back to the importance of knowing their numbers.
Success isn’t a chance encounter it’s the result of consistent action, day after day, that leads to long term profitability and sustainability.